Mayors Catalyzing Local Sustainable Action

1 October 2014 - 10:00am
Ecologic Institute

This week, nations from around the world gathered in New York City for the United Nations Climate Summit to talk about the pressing issues surrounding climate change. Normally, attendees walk away with the question “Where do we go from here?” This year, attendees left thinking “How do we get there?”

During this 2014 summit, a new initiative emerged- the Compact of Mayors. This commitment brings together Mayors from around the world to focus on sustainable development at the city level. With cities emitting roughly 70% of the worlds’ green house gases, there are significant opportunities for local, direct initiatives to help nations achieve ambitious emissions reduction targets. The Compact of Mayors is a collective effort with Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and includes over 2,000 participants from 228 cities who have agreed to work together with one another to pave the way for a sustainable future.

The mission of this initiative is to create a transparent, compatible and transferable network that holds all cities who have entered into this compact accountable to hit their specified targets. In doing so, members will annually report emissions on a world-leading carbon reporting platform, Carbon Registry, where all information is reported in a consistent manner and is published for public viewing. This not only creates credibility and transparency among cities but it also builds a system in which to engage and support new entrants. This compact alone could lead to increased reductions in green house gases by an additional 13 gigatonnes per year by 2050.

Taken directly from a United Nations Climate Summit Press Release, “Today shows that the world is finally waking up to the economic and social opportunities of taking action on climate change.” United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon said, “The Climate Summit is showcasing a level of ambition not seen before and producing actions and new initiatives that will make a significant difference.”